As Drake entered the classroom at North Side Community Center he noticed Bill James sitting at a table near the back. Bill was wearing an unbuttoned, faded denim jacket that displayed a picture of The Ramones on the black tee shirt that he was wearing. As usual Bill’s long, salt and pepper hair and beard looked unkempt. Bill had brought a long a Bic pen and a Hilroy spiral notebook. He also brought along a manilla file folder that contained samples of his writing.
Bill looked as surprised as Drake did when they made eye contact.
“Hey Drake, good to see you buddy. Let’s get a coffee before class starts.” Bill grabbed his beautifully carved walking stick and walked towards the coffee table. A large percolator was turned on and there was a jar of Coffee Mate and a box of Sugar Twin as well as regular sugar available on the table.
The coffee was free for those taking the writing class.
When they returned to the back table Drake sat next to Bill.
“I didn’t know that you liked to write fiction, Bill,” said Drake.
“I didn’t know that you did, either. Well, who’d a thunk it?” said Bill giving Drake a slap on the back. “I actually started writing a few tears ago. I was at home recovering from an injury at work when I first took up the past time.”
“The injury must have been serious.”
“ It was. I was unable to work for about eight months.”
“How did the accident happen?” asked Drake.
“Oh, it wasn’t an accident. One of my coworkers ran me over with a forklift on purpose.”
“What! Why would he do that?”
“He didn’t like my politics, I guess,” answered Bill.
As Drake and Bill were finishing up their conversation, Ron Evans, the Director of the community center walked in the classroom.
“Could I have your attention for a few minutes, people?” asked Ron. “I have an important announcement to make. Unfortunately, I received a phone call from your teacher’s wife, Anita Trent. She told me that her husband, Robert, fell very ill this afternoon and was rushed to the hospital. It appears that your teacher has had a stroke. I ask all of you, who are so inclined, to please pray for a quick recovery for Robert. Anita also informed that Robert would not be able to teach his writing course as he might need several months to fully recuperate from his stroke. Now that’s the bad news. The good news for you people is that I was able to find another qualified facilitator for the writing course. She’s on her way to class right now. I phoned her about an hour ago and she said that she might be about ten minutes late but that she was able to teach the course to you people.”
Drake stood up. “On behalf of the group I would like to say that Robert will be in our thoughts and prayers. He’s a fine man and a good teacher. What’s the new instructor’s name?”
“Lisa Harrison, the Executive Director of the House of Hope,” answered Ron.
The Weekend Warrior
I’ve been doing a considerable amount of reading and writing this weekend. I have a very unorthodox writing routine. At present I am working on two stories at once. I have actually started a third as well. This weekend I’ve been feeling more “heat” form the first two of my stories. I use the term, “heat” to mean inspiration and urgency to write. In other words, The Muse seems to have arrived for the two stories and has indicated a desire to take an active part in my writing sessions.
My first story centers around a tragic accident that takes place at a rehabilitation facility. The second one involved a summer rock festival from the nineteen sixties.
When I take a break from my writing I will often stop to listen to an audiobook. Once again I listen to more than one at a time. Yesterday, I listened to Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir. I highly recommend this autobiography if you can tolerate Dave’s frequent use of the F bomb. Dave discusses in depth his relationship with his former band, Metallica. He also describes how he came to be a Christian and the choices he has had to make playing in a heavy metal band. Dave talks about the decisions he has had to make as to whether or not to play with “satanic” bands at rock festivals. Dave Mustaine does an excellent job of explaining how he deals with these situations.
Ken David Stewart reviews the dvd Lemmy which features Motorhead front man, Lemmy Kilmister. Ken also talks about two Motorhead live DVDS.
When Giants Walked the Earth
This week I have been reading When Giants Walked the Earth by Mick Wall. It is a biography of the iconic band Led Zeppelin. This is the best book on Led Zeppelin that I have read. It is probably one of the best rock biographies that I have read period. Many rock biographies degenerate into tales of substance abuse and not much else. When Giants Walked the Earth reads more like a novel. The story certainly has some fascinating characters including Led Zeppelin manager, Peter Grant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham. Jimmy Page’s extreme interest in Aleister Crowley is explored in great detail. Peter Grant is portrayed as a larger than life character who was notorious for intimidating any business associates who Grant felt did not have the best interests of his act in mind. John Bonham’s Jeckyl and Hyde personality is also discussed in great detail. In addition to being probably the heaviest drummer of all time Bonzo was also known as The Beast when he was on tour with the band. Led Zeppelin’s drummer was also a man who missed his family terribly when his band was on tour. He would sometimes be in tears when he confided to others how much he hated being away from his wife and kids.
Three one shot reunion concerts are also analyzed. This is one heavy book and is a must for any hard rock or heavy metal fan.
Lemmy DVD Ultimate Badass Edition
This two DVD set is a must for any fan of Motorhead. Motorhead frontman and bass player Lemmy Kilmister is the featured star of this video. Although Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee are stars in their own right, Lemmy is the legend and the icon of Motorhead.
Motorhead are one of the few bands that are still around after thirty years and who refuse to change with the times. With Motorhead what you see is what you get and what you get is great. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Motorhead play a concert in my home town of Winnipeg this year. The show was excellent and Motorhead did not disappoint. Shortly after the concert I purchased the “Lemmy” Ultimate Badass Edition DVD. This DVD set is both entertaining and informative. My favorite part was the interaction between Lemmy and his son. Special guests such as Dave Grohl and Metallica also appear on these DVDs. As much as I enjoyed this video I must say that I liked the previously released British documentary Live Fast Die Old more. The reason for this was that the British documentary also highlighted the darkness in Lemmy’s life.